Almost a year after the veterinarian's report that touched off a legal tennis match, Carolina Polo and Carriage Co. has filed its second appeal of a 30-day suspension that city officials imposed.
This time the case goes before a judge in Charleston County Court of Common Pleas, adding an additional three or four months with this latest stroke.
Charleston's Tourism Commission in April unanimously upheld the sanctions against the tour operator, which received the most numerous and most serious citations during a veterinarian's industry-wide inspection of horses and their stables. The city order requires that the company shut down for seven days, and it allows for an additional 23 days if Carolina Polo receives any more citations that result in convictions during a three-month period.
Before the appeal, the suspension was set to begin June 10. If enforced, the one-week closure would mark the longest in city history.
Carolina Polo pleaded guilty to four code violations at an August trial with findings that included providing altered medical records, cleaning stalls in a manner that creates toxic gas and giving horses the lowest-quality feed and hay. City officials could have suspended its operations for a maximum of 180 days.
Carolina Polo's attorney, Capers Barr, said in the appeal filed last week that the violations occurred under the incorrect section of city code for the suspension to apply and that the violations occurred simultaneously and not in succession.
"We're just anxious to get the matter heard by a circuit judge," Barr said. "The questions are purely legal, having to do with the interpretation of the ordinance."
In arguing to uphold the suspension last month, city attorney Ravi Sanyal pointed out that though other companies received violations, Carolina Polo alone was convicted.
Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.